When I was a child my teacher wrote on my school report card that I was ‘introverted.’ I asked my mother what that meant and she replied that it just meant shy.
It wasn't until I became an adult that I learned what introversion really meant, and suddenly so much about my life made sense.
Being an introvert and being shy are two very different things. I’m not shy – in fact as part of my job I interact socially with many people during the course of the day. The difference is that when I leave work I look forward to coming home to my quiet little house and my own company.
Image courtesy of vtmommies.com
Being around other people drains my energy and the only way I can recharge is by being completely alone. It’s not that I don’t like other people; it’s that I need the balance of spending time by myself.
I’m often asked whether I get lonely living on my own and my answer is no, not at all. I don‘t have a large circle of friends, and don’t deliberately seek out the company of others. I try to avoid parties or any kind of social gathering, and because of this I’m sure I've upset a few people over the years. There were even times in the past when I made up an excuse or feigned illness just to avoid offending someone with the truth.
Image courtesy of modernandmature.co.uk
So what do I do with all this alone time? Well, I write, read, learn, and listen to music. I go for long drives, visit art galleries, museums, markets and op-shops. Since moving to the country I’m learning about gardening. I also go fishing and exploring with my latest toy – a metal detector. These things give me great pleasure and I feel completely fulfilled when I’m doing them alone.
Apparently about one in every four people is an introvert and those who have extroverted personalities have a hard time understanding us. They cannot seem to grasp the concept of craving alone-time. Some even attribute introversion to snobbery or a lack of self-confidence which is far from the truth.
Image courtesy of plowingthroughlife.blogspot.com
Perhaps it’s time we began an ‘introversion awareness’ campaign. Introverts everywhere should proudly announce who and what we really are. Maybe we all need to wear a t-shirt or badge proclaiming that we’re introverts and proud of it. The only problem with this is that we may draw even more unwanted attention!
Here’s an idea – how about a public holiday just for introverts so we can celebrate by staying at home curled up with a good book!